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martes, 15 de abril de 2008

Chronicle of an announced dream (complete)

Spanish version

This is the story of a dream that started one afternoon of January while chatting with a friend. A dream that turned into a crusade and that couldn’t fulfill its target, however, it was the impulse to grab the packages and to start the odyssey to reach it. And that target was called Bob Dylan.

The Great White Wonder, Mr. Tambourine Man, the Trovadour. Bob Dylan, the eternal roving traveler, who hangs around the world in an endless tour, since years ago. Never ending tour, the endless trip, that I used to follow from the screen of the cibercafe’s computers since 1995 and with my imagination only since 1990. They were other times: you had to wait 15 minutes to see a web page wide open, half an hour to load a picture and pay 5 soles (1.5 dollars) for one hour of Internet service; but I didn’t care, Internet was my window to the world and the only one way of knowing and having the trovadour a little bit closer in this part of the world.

Because only cities like Toulouse, Roma, Sevilla, Berlin, Kansas, Dallas, Toronto, Sapporo were part of Robert Allen Zimmerman’s visit calendar, a man who can be able of play a repertoire of songs in ten different ways; and that’s the transcendental part of his shows, the reason why there’s big demand of his fanatics who load and upload on Internet the audios, pictures and videos of each one of them, and, after all, the reason why the powerful validity and influence of this singer on the contemporary music is, stronger than ever.

But this side of the world seemed not to appear in the artist’s schedule. Except for furtive and amazing performances in Chile in1993, Argentina in 1998 (as an invited singer of The Rolling Stones), Mexico and Brazil; Peru seemed to be condemned to see Dylan and his Never Ending Tour from far away only. And from bad to worse, in those times when I was poor and undocumented, it would have been impossible to me even to dream of taking a plane immediately to reach my idol in some of these places.

But suddenly, in an afternoon of January 2008, everything changed. A friend from Germany gave me the new, via chat. Bob was planning a South American tour. I couldn’t believe it !!! Dylan would be close again ¡!! And there were no more words to say: I had to see him. It was now or never more.

Peru, once again was not part of this tour. And I started a media- campaign to make it know and ask shows managers to bring him here. And, although this project could not reach the results, this put over the top the fact that more people than those ten guys who form the Bob Dylan Club Peru from 2002, were thinking like me and wanted the same: to see Dylan live, to have a rock legend on stage, to be included in the world music maps. Lots of them wrote to me and supported my intention, lots of people who share with me the same taste in Dylan music, lyrics, everything.

And with those new energies, I decided to put in practice the quotation that says: if the mountain doesnt't come to Mahoma, Mahoma goes to the mountain. And this is what I would do.

I found for someone who can buy me the ticket to the show, I made a reservation for a plane ticket, opened up my money box, collected my coins from nowhere. I spent all january and february working so hard to achieve my goal. And, although Buenos Aires is a old known lady to me, anyways it was so nice to me to see it again with the musician on its stage. A good friend from this city accepted to buy me the ticket to the show and then, in that moment, I knew that all was done, for my happiness...

Second part

An antology night

Buenos Aires, march 14th, the airplane landed two hours and a half late and full of old men, women, cruing children full of handbags and packages. The exhaustion feeling was terrible and it was so hot, but the expectation matained me stood up like a tree. After having left the suitcases in the ruin-room i rented, I run to find the person who had my little treasure: my ticket to the concert of my life

Bob Dylan had performed brightly in Dallas, Guadalajara, México D:F. Sao Paulo, Rio and Santiago de Chile.The critics fell down under his enchantement, even though the master had a little bit serious with his public, cold even indifferent, but if, on the other side he gave us a high quality performance from the beginning to the end, we could forgive him all. And that was precisely that I commented with Lorena, the girl who carried in her bag my precious treasure, here in a mall in the zone called Liniers where we were killing the thirst with a very cold beer. Of course she withouth being a Dylan fan understood me: having crossed hundreds of kilometers to see Dylan live was a very high reason.

Now, with the ticket in hands, I couldn't sleep that night; the expectation was growing, I thought hardy if he opened up the show with Rainy day.... like in Mexico, if some daring girl would climb the stage to hug him, if he would do something bozarre, and the most important, if I would be close enough to see all this.

March 15th the big day. In front of the National Congress Javier was waiting for me; he was other one of the braves, from the Bob Dylan Cub Peru, who crossed South America to be in the show. Whit him and other friend, we would meet later, in a few hours, in Velez Sarsfield stadium to seeRobert Zimmerman and his howls, who changed the rock music in this late 50 years, live. It didn't matter what the rest of the world said about his voice, I loved his rough and tired yellings that made history.

Javier and me in the previous celebration to the Dylan concert.

Unforgettable Trovadour

Then continued
Spirit On The Water; a discret sound of harmonic opened the song and , y you wasn't anymore in Velez Sarsfield,but in a little unknown Grenwich Village's coffee house, listening to an old bluesman between the shadowns and lights of a simple stage, giving smooth and elegants with his cavern voice, out of time. The organ solo and the guitar who showed up once more was so simple like absolute.

When everything was wrapped in a whisper, the pounding of drums announced Things Have Changed. That song is so appreciated by who writes this, and made Bob suddenly felt emboldened to run some small steps dance while playing the organ.

Then Dylan played Workingman's Blues # 2 with lyrical touches and moving us to the ground with lines such as "No man or woman knows / the time the sadness will come / In the dark I hear the night birds sing / I can hear the breathing the lover / I sleep in the kitchen with my feet in the corridor / Sleep is like a temporary death ...

And almost without respite executed another great classic: Just like a woman.

He opened this song with a spectacular harmonica solo which left the audience without reaction. His voice twisted in a lamentreally deep and vibrant when he said "She makes love just like a woman" and then in the opening stanzas, all welcome, and I mean everyone in the stadium because the sound was a great echo.

El track just closed with another harmonica solo that meade me think in those old lyrics trovadours that hypnothysed with their verses ad turn the beloved one into inmortal. Unforgettable.

Honest with Me fue la siguiente. El público finalmente ya parecía enganchado, aunque conservaba sus modismos. No al loquerío ni a los gritos y silbidos destemplados. Y dejen cantar al Señor de la Pandereta. Y luego la ovación cerrada. Pero de pronto, todo se sumió de nuevo en un susurro. Bob empezó a cantarnos sobre lo ancestral, la vida y la muerte, la sabiduría que se acrecenta con la lucha... era When the Deal Goes Down; y de allí apareció otro gema: Highway 61 Revisited. Las notas que seguían a los coros me parecieron lúgubres pero sensuales a la vez, otra vez destacaba la primera guitarra soltando agudas sonatas que se interrumpían por silencios y luego volvían a sonar.

En Nettie More, ocurrió para mí, algo inpensado: a mitad de canción, el público empezó a aplaudir al compás de ella. Las ovaciones vinieron desde las tribunas y fueron seguidas por los espectadores de a pie, los que estabamos sentados y llegaron hasta los pies de Dylan quien inmutable, seguía cantando.

Summer Days venía perfectamente para el momento en que nos citábamos para ver a nuestro ídilo: una noche despejada y calurosa propia del fin del verano bonaerense, la luna brillando con todo su esplendor justo sobre el escenario, el viento que pasaba de cuando en cuando refrescándonos. Y los teclados del protagonista sonando alegres y vibrantes.

Like a Rolling Stone siguió, o apareció mas bien, como rodando, desparramándose desde el escenario hasta las butacas, pasando por el campo y entre las rendijas de las tarimas hasta el grass y luego subiendo hacia las tribunas. Nadie quedó a salvo de ella. Y aquellos embrujados ya como yo, se atrevían a cantarla y a sentirla vibrar dentro de nosotros. La performance estuvo brillante y la gente ovacionó al final de pie un buen rato.

Parecía el fin, las luces se apagaron. Pero yo sabía que eso no era todo, así que no me moví de mi asiento. A mi lado algunos comentaban las incidencias, otros compraban gaseosas, se levantaban, otros se iban. ¡Se iban ! no lo podía creer... ¿acaso no sabían que allí mismo vendría lo mejor? y claro que vino, porque ahí mismo las luces volvieron para el encore con Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again . Bob aparecía de nuevo sobrio e inmóvil frente al órgano pero ejecutando el tema con maestría junto a sus músicos que se lucieron esa noche y ante el público que se rendía y ya comenzaba a dejarse llevar, ya no se sentaron esta vez, todos de pie, continuaban con el show.

De pronto, veo delante de mí, a una rubia que lentamente comienza a avanzar por entre los pasillos formados por las filas de asientos. Todos, seguridad incluídos, mientras embelesadamente miraban al escenario, no notaron a la susodicha que atravesó el cordon que separaba la zona Vip con la Vip Gold (las primeras localidades). Entonces fue que decidí segurla, y para bien porque en un santiamén, estaba a 50 metros del escenario, junto a uno de los parlantes.

No lo podía ceer, era mi sueño hecho realidad, Bob super cerca de mí y esta vez pude verle hasta la expresión de su rostro, la franja blanca que adornaba los lados de su pantalón, sus rugosas manos arrancándole notas al órgano. Todos los de esa zona, estaban de pie, cantando y aplaudiendo ordenadamente. Un loco a mi delante era el único que bailaba. Yo lo seguí.

Luego de aquello, Dylan presentó a su banda, fue lo único que dijo al público en toda la noche, para luego deleitarnos con All Along the Watchtower. Una gigantesca banderola con el ya clásico logo Dylan del ojo servía de pared a los artistas.

Dylan cantaba y a ratos se acomodaba, ora poniendo un pie hacia atrás, ora el otro, ora reclinándose hacia un lado. Tras esta joya, tanto Bob como sus músicos se juntaron al frente como para hacer una venia respectiva, pero no se animó a decir palabra. Estuvieron casi un minuto contemplando el estadio en pleno, hasta que hicieron oídos del clamor y volvieron a sus lugares para regalarnos otro gran tema, un himno del rock llamado Blowin in the Wind. No tengo palabras para describir esa maravilla, simplemente véanla y disfrútenla.

El show terminaba y los presentes nos resistíamos a aceptarlo. Dylan y su banda, nuevamente al frente, miró a su público cautivo de lado a lado que de pie lo ovacionaba rabiosamente. Observó lentamente, primero a su derecha, luego al centro. Sus músicos murmuraban. De pronto se fijó en mi zona. Allí la gente aplaudía, silbaba y pedía más. Todos de pie, pero nadie sobre las sillas ni haciendo más aspaviento que eso. Entonces yo comencé a dar saltos y a agitar los brazos, a llamarlo. Tenía un bolso de cartón en la mano donde estaba mi polo del show. Con éste, le hacía señas. ¿Acaso tenía alguna chance de ser vista entre los 10 mil o 15 mil asistentes?.

Sin embargo lo que a continuación diré no es un producto del delirio porque vi que Dylan detuvo una fracción de segundos su "paneo" visual que iba de vuelta al centro del escenario, para mirar de nuevo hacia mi zona, hacia mí. Era simplemente mi delirio. Y no había nadie más que yo saltando como loco, haciendo señas y descollando entre la multitud, me volteé luego para asegurarme de ello. Todos estaban solamente aplaudiendo.

Y así fue el final de una gran noche, una velada perfecta e inolvidable para quien vivía por primera vez una experiencia de esa naturaleza, y para quien haya tenido la suerte de repetirla, porque significó ver allí a un hombre discreto y sencillo de sombrero y traje frente a mí y saber que tienes frente a ti, al mismo tiempo, a quien revolucionó la música contemporánea, quien se atrevió a desafiar a los puristas en Newport con una guitarra eléctrica, quien fue el primero en atreverse a salir maquillado como un mimo en una gira multitudinaria, quien ganó el Principe de Asturias, y doctorados Honoris Causa en muchas Universidades del mundo, quien infuenció a los Beatles y a tantas otras figuras del rock, quien es nominado al premio Nobel desde hace más de diez años, y finalmente, quien es una leyenda viviente de la música que hizo historia.

A night that, no doubt about,I will never forget que nunca olvidaré.